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Sweden licks wounds of Eurovision fiasco

Peter Vinthagen Simpson · 28 May 2010, 07:53

Published: 28 May 2010 07:53 GMT+02:00

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Anna Bergendahl's stirring ballad "This is My Life" proved to lack sufficient appeal to the musical tastes of European voters and the young singer was left ruing what might have been after a dramatic evening in Oslo, this year's host for the annual festival of song.

19-year-old Bergendahl thus made history in becoming the first Swedish singer and act to not qualify for the final since the introduction of the semifinals in 2004 and the first time Sweden has not featured since 1976.

There appeared little wrong with Bergendahl's performance of her song, displaying assurance beyond her years. But the competition from Europe's songsters proved too tough and she was left out of the ten final places allocated on the night.

There were few other surprises in those chosen with Israel, Turkey, Cyprus, Ireland, Georgia, Ukraine, Romania, Armenia, Denmark and Azerbajdzjan's Safura, with a song written by three Swedes, all going through to make up the final 25 competing for the prestigious crown.

Story continues below…

The Eurovision Song Contest is a popular event in Sweden with television audiences often approaching half the nine million-strong population. Saturday's Oslo final will have no Swedish entry, but who knows, perhaps Azerbajdzjan can expect a little unexpected help from this far-flung corner of northern Europe.

Peter Vinthagen Simpson (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

08:43 May 28, 2010 by calebian22
"There appeared little wrong with Bergendahl's performance of her song,"

Other than the fact that she sings like a chicken.

Fakir would have been a much better choice.
08:57 May 28, 2010 by Rick Methven
The contest should be renamed the EASTERN Europe Song Contest
09:15 May 28, 2010 by WelshSwede
Very true, it was biased and a pile of dog doo. I had to sit through it, joys of living with a Swede. Denmark and Israel were terrible. Ukraine, no words for that!

Ok, the chicken singer wasnt the most upbeat but was a far better song in terms of melody and quality than the rest.

Im gutted as was meant to have a lads night as kicked her out to go and watch the final Saturday, see if I can still pursuade eventhough Sweden not in the final. Ah well, least the Welsh are through..cough. I mean Cyprus!
09:18 May 28, 2010 by Plowbridge
Every year the same Swedish songwriters get approval for their songs to be on Melodifestivalen and just one person at SVT chooses the candidates. One writer had 6 entries this year and they were all sh*t. " Manboy, Manboy" isn't going to progress music in this country. Time for the monopoly to end and a fairer process instigated if participation in this arse clenchingly fey show is still wanted.

More worrying is why the Swedish public chose Bergendahl's boring rip off of last years Icelandic entry. Boring and sung by a novice with the heart and personality of a flea.

I agree that Fakir had a much better song and would have gone far on originality alone. But originality isn't really a Swedish thing is it?
09:23 May 28, 2010 by uunbeliever
Don't even know who this blond is, but I hear Fakir on the radio every day and like it. Who voted for her?
09:29 May 28, 2010 by Puffin
I agree - Salam Al Fakir's song was so much better - and was placed top by the international juries in Globen

It will be interesting to see what the Euro breakdown of public v jury vote was as the juries got 50% as all international viewer polls had tipped Sweden to go through

I'm shocked at some of the songs that got through - the guy from Israel seemed to sing the entire thing out of tune

I was secretly rooting that some of the novelty acts would go through such as the

Dutch street organ music

Slovenias rock with acordian folk music :-)

... or the boys in the glitter knickers
09:30 May 28, 2010 by Michael84
She looked awkward on the stage and was no good. To win a contest you need to have a great song with an acceptable performance. Going on the stage and trying to look beautiful ain't working.Maybe i Sverige but not outside ;)
09:40 May 28, 2010 by saar
The whole event is so cheesy and tacky, it hurts to watch it. It was bad before but since Eastern Europe joined the Eurovision it became simply unwatchable and laughable.
10:06 May 28, 2010 by Wertyx
The Swedish Melody Festival reminds me of a in-breeding village: (almost) always the same performers and the same unoriginal writers, so no wonder that most of the songs are retarded, but of course the jury disregard that and send the home-boy or home-girl to compete with a boring song.

Salem Al Fakir, was new and good, and I must say that I loved Timoteij, with a fresh, happy and catchy melody.

We know that the swedish scene can produce excellent song and music, we get some all the time, so why don't they reach the Melody Festival selection? And when they do, why re they shot down?

You can bet that next year they will send, Carol, or Lena Ph, "proven asset" of the Swedish tradition.

The good news it that for once now I won't feel obliged to root for Sweden on Saturday!
10:24 May 28, 2010 by StockholmSam
Melodifestivalen is a cultural embarrassment. Malena Ernman's song last year was horrid and Bergdahl's effort this year was at least as bad. The productions are all style (and I use that term loosely) and little substance. The fan-blown hair, the glittery costumes, the elaborate stage backdrops, and the truly talented dancers cannot cover up the talentless twits on stage.

What is incredibly interesting is that the UK rarely has any hint of success at this event. Yet the UK is a dominant (possibly THE dominant) player in the world of pop music. This is clear evidence that those with real talent avoid Melodifestivalen like the plague. Those who go for it year after year (Carola!) are obvious no-talents. Imagine if The Cardigans had stepped onto a Melodifestivalen stage in 1992...their international career would have ended right then and there. ABBA was an anomaly.
10:36 May 28, 2010 by NickM
Fakir should have been Sweden's song. So typical of the Swedes to stick with a reliable, ultra middle of the road nice blonde Swedish girl. Reminds of the lack of imagination that went into picking their football team by Lars Lagerback.
10:39 May 28, 2010 by Beavis
Perhaps it will help Swedes to learn not to take this competion seriously! At least they finally copped on that a tranny (Malena and Toyota) wasnt going to win and didnt enter one this year,but the song was still awful by erovison standards..Maybe those silly Swedes who complained about Dustins the Turkeys song should listen to the lyrics now..suckers!
10:54 May 28, 2010 by kerostarfx
Is this a blog post or an actual news article? Licks wounds? seriously?

A-n-y-w-a-y. Yes, it's too bad Anna didn't get through. However, unless it was a bunch of people with hearing problems watching the show, some of those contestants that got through ....really...really....sucked....

Ah the show is entertaining to watch either way :P
10:59 May 28, 2010 by Crocs
I'm gutted Lithuania didn't get through.. simply for their glittery shorts - cheese-tastic! The Dutch entry was like something out of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang! Very surprised that Sweden didn't mkae the grade this year

Love Eurovision!
11:07 May 28, 2010 by Miss Kitten
I honestly coudn't care less that Sweden didn't make the final cut, although I expect that this year's failure will strengthen their resolve and make them take it more seriously than ever.

The one I really feel sorry for is Anna Bergendahl. Imagine what it must feel like to be the first contestant in history to not be good enough to qualify for the EVC final. Poor, poor kid.
11:22 May 28, 2010 by witsltd
Poor Anna, but it was clear from beginning she was too weak for international audience.

Fakir has much international exposure and experience...and his song was simply much better.
11:33 May 28, 2010 by Beavis
Laughing at the ones who wanted the Fakir "better song".. you really dont get eurovision do you?! It has absolutly nothing to do with the best song or best music and until Swedes get that into their heads they wont be qualifying year after year
12:55 May 28, 2010 by peropaco
Although I abhore eurovision contest I cannot help but to feel sorry for this young girl..And yes, she sings like a castrated chicken
13:21 May 28, 2010 by Great Scott
What was this crap Sweden delivered, has Sweden run out of talent. This girl could not even sing, she sounded like she was doing an audition for X Factor or Pop Idol. Her voice was awful and her performance was very poor.
13:37 May 28, 2010 by Aureliano Buendia
No way to critisize Anna Bergendahl. She did the same while winning melodiefestivalen. Those who voted for Anna are guilty, not Anna.

PS. Some people has gained some "ultraEuropean" feelings, accusing Aze, Arm, Geo. not being part of Europe. My dears, its not the solution, may be we r not europe, but europe likes our songs more than your crap :)
13:48 May 28, 2010 by grantike
Comment: funny enough everyone want fakir.i wonder where everyone went when the vote was on.haha again how would fakir be selected other than a blonde girl singing and smilling..next time vote for best song and not favoritism for who ever.i guess itsa lesson now.
13:50 May 28, 2010 by zooeden
So this are the lyrics:

I go down the beaten track, along the river with an empty bank

At the ned she said to me: "Why are you here with the autumn leaves?"

'Cause this is my life, my friend, and this is my time to stand

'Cause this is my life, my friend, and I can't be no one else

I'm done, tipping on my toes, strike an iron adn attack my soul

Misty moon, you're gonna see, I've got you blues to get on my feet

'Cause this is my life, my friend, and this is my time to stand

'Cause this is my life, my friend, and I can't be no one else

I don't wanna run; I don't wanna fight

I don't wanna hide; I just wanna stay free, to be me

I don't wanna win; I don't wanna lose

I don't wanna play; I just wanna remember, oh I'm my name

'Cause this is my life, my friend, and this is my time to stand

Oh, ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh

('Cause this is my life, my friend, and this is my time to stand)

'Cause this is my life, my friend, and I can't be no one else

'Cause this is my life, my friend, and I can't be no one else

'Cause this is my life, my friend

So that´s what according to her the swedish people like!!! Well I don´t, does that make me a foreigner??? I see nothing but a boring song and just a bit better that the "in las vegas everything is gonna be alright", who send this people to represent sweden, a bunch of mummys???? Its not her fault really, who says it´s ok to represent sweden with that song are the ones who are insaine!!! And I dont like the EUVSC!!!

I like the word fiasco though!!!
14:15 May 28, 2010 by EtoileBrilliant
No Eurovision no World Cup. Feel like I want to top myself.
14:16 May 28, 2010 by anthrax
I did not see the Fakir entry (I'll YouTube it later today) but I thought the song Kom by Timoteij was fantastic! AND it was sung in Swedish, which is what I would expect from a song being chosen to represent Sweden. I couldn't believe it when My Life was selected as the winning song for Sweden. Besides being in English, it was just a depressing song and to me that goes against the whole idea behind the Eurovision contest.
15:03 May 28, 2010 by grantike
@ anthrax i do not know what swedish got to do with music last i cheked wiki.it

definition of music vary according to culture and social context. Music ranges from strictly organized compositions (and their recreation in performance), through improvisational music to aleatoric forms. Music can be divided into genres and subgenres, although the dividing lines and relationships between music genres are often subtle, sometimes open to individual interpretation, and occasionally controversial. Within "the arts",
15:43 May 28, 2010 by jack sprat
Oh dear,.

.What a catastrophe.

Wonder if a National day of mourning will be declared?

Can't believe the Swedes are dumb enough to take the Eurovicion Cr@p contest so seriously..lol.
16:01 May 28, 2010 by misssh
sweden sucks at most thinks at the moment like eurovision and what was that other thing ..... let me think...... oh yea that is right the football world cup

come on the all white´s!!!
16:14 May 28, 2010 by jack sprat
Hope we,re a bit better at footie than the Eurocr@p.

Just seen the UK entry on the news.

He's rated the worst in the competitions history and rightly so.

Bookies are offering him at 175 to 1 against.

I would rate him at a million to one against.

Looks like another severe case of Nil Pois

Unless some kind-hearted sole takes pity on the poor guy and gives him an odd point or two,..be most surprised though.

Oh dear,..just how bad can it get?.lol.
16:24 May 28, 2010 by AndreaGerak
As a singer, I find this whole thing very interesting, if you wanna read some of my thoughts about it: http://www.thelocal.se/blogs/stuckinstockholm/2010/05/28/this-was-not-her-time/
16:33 May 28, 2010 by ali_bin_umar
Is Isreal located in europe? or the occupation in disguise has been extended to Europe now?
17:01 May 28, 2010 by Icarusty
I didn't watch any of the semi finals... can someone please tell me a list of attractive women that featured in them so I can skip through the other parts
17:47 May 28, 2010 by DAVID T
I always wondered when russia, turkey and israel joined europe - no wonder the euro is screwed
17:47 May 28, 2010 by BrittInSweden
Eurovision and Prestigious should not go in the same article.
21:57 May 28, 2010 by ali_bin_umar
@ David T... 100% agreed.
22:46 May 28, 2010 by SilentLogic
Anna did'nt perform as bad as viewers responses are now. thelocal exegerates the things sometimes. "licking the wound". anyway Kid still deserves cheers.
23:37 May 28, 2010 by Authentica

I agree with you, it would've been completely different story if Sweden was represented by 4 sexy blondes singing "cum,cum,cum" hahahaha
23:38 May 28, 2010 by dizzymoe33
Maybe if the members of ABBA wrote the songs for Sweden's singers maybe they would win?!
23:54 May 28, 2010 by christy75x
Some really harsh critics on here! She certainly was not the worst performer nor did she have the worst song. Being British I am so ASHAMED of the pathetic entry the UK has entered this year. So what if UK provide a large chunk of the funding for the contest - that should not give us the right to inflict such pain and misery onto the peoples of Europe?!

I hope Anna can get over this - it is a major disappointment for her and for Sweden. Unbelievable that last year's entry got through though! Anyway, the Swedes need to pick something more original for next year - don't just stick to blondes! Pauline for example was amazing as was Salem Al Fakir although the suit was terrible. Sweden needs to embrace its multi-cultural/multi-racial future!

Anna, I wish you well and hope you can recover from this.
02:24 May 29, 2010 by Leo Danial
This song was chosen by the Swedish Feminist Chuavinsm (SFC) that rules this country with supporters of gays & male feminists ... SFC can only reflect & reproduce the Image of the stupid smiling-for-nothing blonde ... real men in Sweden had disappeared in the shadows & forgot about their resposibilities toward their country & people ...

The SFC deprived Salem Al Fakir from his right to represent Sweden because he is a male & from Arabic roots with an Arabic name ... though he is one of the best musicians in Sweden & from a Swedish mother ... from the begining of Melody Festival, Al Fakir seemed to be a hot contestant ... his song was great, original & different than the derivative music here ...

In the final, it was going up ... then the (guys) manipulated the stupid voting system to come up with a too-naive unknown blonde, contradicting last year experience when they chosen the bitchy pompious Opera-turned-pop Malena ... who came in 21st position ... while Persian-Swedish Arash came 3rd for Azerbaijan ... he knew that Sweden will let him down for a blonde!

If anybody see the way the Swedish specialists use to judge other countries' contributions to Eurovision he will be shocked ... super ego + igonorance ...by some stupid so called artists on the official SVT ... Go on guys with swedish blondes every where ... you will conquer the world .... in your dreams! .... Enough with SFC policies!
02:40 May 29, 2010 by Aussie
Bring back ABBA, Roxette or "Ace of Base" - Sweden might just have a chance then.
09:03 May 29, 2010 by geekgirl

Ace of Base , heck yea. childhood memories =)

@Leo Danial

I really didn't like the first paragraph of yours (especially with so many labels and finger-pointing), but I liked your thoughts/insight on the rest.

I tend to agree on that Sweden may benefit from something new, different.. Going traditional means you have to step up the game so much as to keep up with the "diverse surprises"..

An exotic trans-woman perhaps? :p

Hey, remember 1998, Dana International's (Israel) "Diva" ? And I really don't think it was all what it was cracked up to be. Whatever.. What matters is she won.. And Israel actually got kudos for it, despite all the opposition and attempts to void her participation by the Orthodox Jews & conservatives there..

just a random thought :)

Better luck next time Sweden
11:52 May 29, 2010 by Polarbird
As a confirmed UK based Swedeophile I'd just like to say that I really liked Anna's song. Tough that it didn't go through.
17:52 May 29, 2010 by Leo Danial
@ Aussie ... thank U 4 your comments even if U don't agree with me

I know that sometimes i go too far ... I want 2 shake things a little bit

The (guys) here had never been outside Sweden ... maybe they've been physically ...but not mentally ... they R still sleeping in their heads! they don't figure the moods & trends easily ... they think Sverige is the World!

Of course the lovely Temotje with "Kom Kom Kom|" were hotter contestants ... four beautiful decent blondes singing joyfully in Swedish ... would have better chances ... @least in the semifinals. I should admit here that other contestants like Ireland, Cyprus, Israel, and Georgia ...were not that good ... maybe even worse than the Swedish contribution ... I was surprised how did they have made it to finals!

With all my notes against Anna ... I thought that she would have gone to fanal .. then be eliminated like last year ... this should tell us something

Sweden should prepare it self to win ... not just 2 say that we were there! Second, the people resposible for this (Historiskt Fiasko) ..as Metro described it .... should be exposed & pay for their mastakes!

If U just watch the stupid singing programs & how much focus they got in different Tv chanells... U think that we will win instantly.

But maybe the forigners & immigrants can give something back to this generous country - in the form of cultural & creative activities ... but is the "guys" ready to accept such gift without prejudices or prior judgements!
01:00 May 30, 2010 by Beavis
Truth is Al Fakir was just as rubbish as the other, race and religion played no part and neither would have qaulified..until you thick Swedes get it in your head that the eurovision is essentially a circus entertainment show and is not a serious (in any way!) music competition. Its not about the best song, the best music and never has been, if Cliff Richard won it and Johhny Logan won it twice, how could anyone but an idiot take it serious?!!
08:12 May 30, 2010 by michcas
Fakir sucks! he sings through his nose and I am so tired of his song! Writing three lines and singing them over and over again ....through your nose ....unintelligent. Anna was great, her song has the quality which hasnt been heard in years. She will have a great future! Fakir..well....keep on walking.....
10:01 May 30, 2010 by Kronaboy
Yeah but England came last (haaa haaaa), you think they would get the message by now, don't bother entering you are a sh#ty little racist country and everyone (except the Americans - which speaks volumes) hates you.
13:20 May 30, 2010 by Aussie
Well, now that the "fat" lady has sung and it is all over -

Congratulations to Len!!

Great song, but unfortunately I don't think the performance she gave "on the night" was worthy of the win. The studio version of it was fantastic, but it lacked soul on stage last night.

Commiserations to Belgium - Based on the live "on-night" performance - In a league of his own and should have walked away as the winner...

But as usual, politic and country ties plays a much bigger part than any of the songs or performances... I still think every country could go out with the exact same song, give exactly the same performance and this still would not be reflected in the voting - So biased and influenced by inter-country politics - Unbelievable..
14:09 May 30, 2010 by xykat
I could have predicted this before it happened. Her song was nice but not European Song Contest material. They should have voted Fakir in, he is such an incredible artist with true and apparent talent.

But Swedes like to vote Swedes into the spotlight and not Swedes of foreign background. Sad! You reap what you sow.....
15:06 May 30, 2010 by zooeden
Even though Leo Danial in his comment #39 is radical it made me laugh like dumb!!! That was an elaborate one mate!!! Cheers!
16:47 May 30, 2010 by Streja
Miss Kitte, to say that it's harsh for Anna to be the first Swede not to reach the final is stupid. Semi finals have only been a fact in the Eurovision for a few years, before that, since the 50's, there was only one show on one night.

I liked the song and so did many others, like the Norwegians, Spaniards, Russians, Germans etc. She came 11th in the second semi final, not too bad. The first semi final was really bad so if she had been in that one she would have got through most likely.

People in Sweden don't blame Anna. We were just a bit sad because it is a new thing for us.
03:27 May 31, 2010 by rotnasdnar
i like her song, but she isn't too good at singing got to admit
21:47 May 31, 2010 by Icarusty

You are a TRAITOR to our country how dare you, our entry sung by that guy (can't remember his name) wasn't that bad, it was the crazy Europeans hating on us again just because we invaded a few countries, don't like the Euro and dislike Eastern European immigrants.

Lena's song was pretty catchy, but her rubbish accent ruined it. Luckily she was sexy and her legs compensated, so she deserved to win. She needs to work on her arm muscles though, couldn't even lift a trophy!

And congratulations also to all the ripoffs I saw... there was one that sounded like Shakhira, but sung by men...
17:59 June 1, 2010 by Skobie69
At least Melodifestivalen gives some decent competition when chosing you're entrant. In Ireland our Song Contest is a joke. Very little choice with the last 2 winners the only half decent songs in the competition both years (both with Swedish writers involved).

Before that we sent the winners of our talent show (pure amateurs) for ritual humiliation to Eurovision where for years they were eaten up & thrown out.

I thought Swedens song this year was very unlucky not to qualify. She finished 11th with only the top 10 going through.

If she had qualified she probably would have done much better in the final than some who were in that semi-final, Ireland included.

The jury system seems to be working mostly but some juries must have been fast asleep Saturday night. The former Soviet & former Yugoslav countries were tripping over themselves to award votes to their neighbours.
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